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Boosting Advanced Manufacturing and Driving Innovation

The steering committee for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership outlines a set of recommendations for driving innovation.

President Obama has made revitalizing manufacturing a top U.S. priority, and as part of that effort he launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) in June of last year to bring together industry, academia and government to recommend joint investments and solutions in response to recommendations in a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

“Right now we have a real opportunity to bring manufacturing back, and we need to seize it together. That’s why I launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership—to make it easier for business, academia, and government to pull in the same direction and put more Americans back to work,” said President Obama.

Yesterday, the AMP steering committee—which operates within the framework of PCAST and is comprised of leading experts from industry and academia—outlined 16 recommendations for spurring investment and positioning the United States for long-term leadership in advanced manufacturing.

You can read the report, Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, here.

The steering committee grouped its recommendations into three categories—enabling innovation, securing the talent pipeline, and improving the business climate—and included ideas like boosting funding for R&D, tapping into the talent pool of returning veterans, and reforming the tax code to encourage investment in domestic manufacturing. The steering committee also endorsed the concept of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a legislative proposal to support public-private institutes investing in cross-cutting technologies to create a nationwide “innovation ecosystem."

The report details the unique role that manufacturing plays in the broader U.S. economy—as a direct source of jobs, as a spur to additional job growth across the economy, and as an important force for addressing the nation’s trade deficit.  Most importantly, the report reveals that the nation’s continued strength in innovation depends on sustaining a close, two-way connection between the innovation and manufacturing processes. “Proximity to the manufacturing process creates innovation spillovers across firms and industries, leading to the ideas and capabilities that support the next generation of products and processes,” the report notes.  “In this way, a vibrant manufacturing sector is inextricably linked to our capacity as a nation to innovate.”

The AMP steering committee is co-chaired by Andrew Liveris, president, chairman, and CEO of Dow Chemical, and Susan Hockfield—who until this month was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. PCAST is co-chaired by John P. Holdren, science and technology advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Eric Lander, president of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

To learn more about the Administration’s advanced manufacturing proposals, check out the fact sheet.